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False claim: "the Coronavirus" is designed and any vaccine that is developed could infect you with the disease

A Facebook group shared an image on Facebook that claims that viruses, including the Coronavirus, are designed and that the Coronavirus vaccine will infect you with the virus (see here).

The claim is referring to COVID-19, the new coronavirus strain first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019. More information can be found here .

The claim that coronavirus is designed is unfounded. CDC explains the source of COVID-19 was most likely a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China (see here ). COVID-19 is believed to have spread from an animal to a person much like MERS and SARS. There is no indication or publicly available evidence suggesting that the coronavirus was "designed".

The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation did fund a research center in England called the Pirbright Institute, (see here ; more on the institute www.pirbright.ac.uk/ ), which is named in the misleading post. The Pirbright Institute specializes in the study of viruses that affect farm animals, and viruses which transfer from animals to people, but they do not own a patent on the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Pirbright Institute has a patent for a type of coronavirus affecting animals (primarily chickens), which can be seen here . The Pirbright Institute addressed the confusion between their patent and the novel coronavirus, COVID-19: 

"The Pirbright Institute carries out research on infectious bronchitis virus (IBV, here), a coronavirus that infects poultry, and porcine deltacoronavirus that infects pigs. Pirbright does not currently work with human coronaviruses. More information on our coronavirus livestock research can be found on our website." 

The post claims the “CDC will soon say a vaccine is available for Ebola, Zika and/or Corona.” There is already a vaccine for a certain strain of Ebola, see here. No vaccines are currently publicly available for Zika, see here . There is still no vaccine available for COVID-19.

The image further claims: "The vaccine will contain the virus. If you get vaccinated, you might become infected with the virus." Some vaccines do contain a version of the virus that has been weakened, but it will not give you the disease it's vaccinating against. The CDC clearly describes how vaccination works here . The CDC explains: “Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection, however, almost never causes illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.” There are multiple types of vaccines. Some – not all – vaccines use parts of a virus to strengthen the immune system to it, and this is done in a medical, scientific process (see here). Safe vaccines pass many stages before becoming available to the public, see more on this here .

VERDICT

False: The coronavirus is not designed, Bill Gates did not patent COVID-19 and there is still no vaccine. Some vaccines work by injecting small doses of parts of a virus in a medically safe way.

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